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Donating a Saddle

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  • Donating a Saddle

    I donated a saddle to a lesson barn associated with a 'not for profit' school. Can I take the value of the saddle off of my taxes? I had to fill out forms and have confirmation of the donation. If I can write it off, how do I come up with a value?

    I could not sell the saddle locally (tried for over 6 months) and it needed to go.

    Thanks, Bopper

  • #2
    As long as you have a receipt from the not for profit, you should be able to write it off on your taxes.

    You can claim what you think it's worth, but just remember that anything over $200 may throw up a red flag to the IRS and you'll have to prove it's worth what you said it was.
    Homeopathy claims water can cure you since it once held medicine. That's like saying you can get sustenance from an empty plate because it once held food.


    • Original Poster

      I had planned on using an internet ad for a similar saddle as my justification for the value but I wanted to try to get some feedback to makes sure this was okay.


      • #4
        sounds questionable to me. Not a tax preparer or anything, but my understanding is that the in-kind donation needs to directly benefit the not-for-profit institution. Unless the saddle is used at the school, as opposed to the lesson barn (which I am guessing is a for-profit enterprise), I doubt this passes the IRS sniff test. Has the non-profit sent you an acknowledgment letter for the saddle? Would be best if you get that.

        I know a lot of people take an aggressive approach to writing off every possible thing, and it's true the IRS ignores most of it. The way I see it, the very small benefit you'll get for $200 is not worth getting yourself on the IRS's audit list. If finding tax shelters in the form of charitable donations is an important part of your finances, then best to plan those donations and make sure they're 100% legit.


        • #5
          Is the school a 501(c)(3)? There are other types of organizations that can or do call themselves not-for-profit but donations are not tax deductible. Is the lesson barn part of the school (only students take lessons there as part of curriculum) or is it a business that is only in some way associated?


          • #6
            Not about saddles in particular but I've understood that the amount claimed can be about half of the replacement cost or it's resale value.

            Years ago someone told me that when selling at a garage sale, merchandise should be sold for about 1/3 of the price of a new one if the item is in very good or new condition. Condition matters.

            Originally posted by Bopper View Post
            I donated a saddle to a lesson barn associated with a 'not for profit' school. Can I take the value of the saddle off of my taxes? I had to fill out forms and have confirmation of the donation. If I can write it off, how do I come up with a value?

            I could not sell the saddle locally (tried for over 6 months) and it needed to go.

            Thanks, Bopper


            • #7
              In the non-profit's donation confirmation to you they should have said:
              "Non Profit Name" confirms that no goods or services were provided to you in return for your contribution.

              This is on our In Kind Donation form:

              Please contact or consult your tax advisor for details.

              The IRS requires, for our records and yours, that an estimation of the dollar amount of a non-cash contribution be given. IRS publication 563, Determining the Value of Donated Property is helpful for individuals, partnerships, and corporations who make non-cash contributions. If a non-cash contribution exceeds $500, the taxpayer must file IRS Form 8283.

              The Donor values the Item.
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